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Life of Bl. Joseph Vaz published prior to his canonization next week

By Fr Jason Coelho, sdb
Front cover of the booklet published on to be St. Jose Vaz
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Panjim, Jan. 8. ''Here I Am Lord, The Life and Mission of Jos Vaz'' is a short biography of Bl. Joseph Vaz publised by Salesian Father Banzelao Teixeira a few days prior to the canonization of the Indian Saint who was a missionary in Sri Lanka.  The canonization is to take place on 14 January 2015 in Colombo, during the first visit of Pope Francis to that country. Bl. Joseph Vaz, born in Benaulim, Goa is also the patron of the Salesian Province of Panjim.
In this booklet, the author Fr. Teixeira, gives a dramatic account of Bl. Joseph Vaz's life which still inspires and motivates Christians and missionaries more than 300 years after his death.

A native of Goa, Bl. Joseph Vaz was born on 21 April 1651, to the Konkani Brahmin Christian parents, Christopher Vaz and Maria de Miranda. After his studies, secular and religious, Joseph was ordained a priest in 1676. Always devoted to Our Lady, in 1677 he consecrated himself as a Slave of Mary, sealing it with a Document known as his ''Letter of Enslavement''.

Having learned of the condition of Catholics in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), being persecuted by the Dutch, his heart burnt with the desire to be a missionary there. His desire became a reality after much trial and testing. Disguised as coolies, he and his helper reached the port of Tuticorin on Easter 1687, and under the guise of beggars, went around looking for Catholics.

When Joseph Vaz's identity came to light, he earned the wrath of the other Christians and had to go through great pain and suffering - imprisonments and betrayals. Yet God stayed by him and accompanied his work with miracles and wonders.  He died on 16 January 1711 in Kandy.

The cover design of the biography is by Rudi D' Silva and Photography by Ronan Barreto. The booklet is published by Don Bosco Animation Centre, Benaulim, Goa from where copies are available,  priced at Rs. 15.00 each. Orders can be placed by email: or by phone: 0832 2771587 / 0832 2772070.
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